Post # 1
We’ve been thinking of adding a cat to our family but I have some questions on cats and balconies! We currently live in an apartment with a large balcony and like to keep the door open for the breeze and outdoor sounds. Our dog loves to go outside and lay down/watch the world and at 25lbs we don’t worry much about him on the balcony. Every now and then we get bird visitors on the railings but the dog just watches them more than anything.
I’m curious to know how cats act on balconies? We’re seven stories up and the balcony railings have about 3″ width spacing between “jail” bars. Are cats fearless and daring at that height or do they shy away?
Post # 2
Never leave a cat unattended on a balcony. We have two cats, tbigger (18lb 3 yr) is allowed out with us, the little (6 lb 8mo) comes out only on a harness when we are out there. Though we have “shown” both cats over the edge of the balcony, (we are only 4th fl) bothhave shown interest in jumping up onto the railing, especially when there are birds in trees in front of our balcony.
Post # 3
I think it depends on the cat. My friend would always let his cat out on his back porch area (on the 2nd floor), and the cat never strayed too far. Cat could have easily jumped off the roof if he felt compelled to do so, but had more sense than that. He could have also easily escaped to the great outdoors, but never did. He liked being outside but had no interest in going beyond the porch area.
Then again, my other friend has a cat that leapt out an open third floor window once (and survived without a scratch thank god!), so who knows. Some cats have more sense than others…
Post # 4
We have a tiny (6lb 10mo) cat that we don’t let onto our balcony unsupervised. We will let her walk around and sniff etc. not on a harness (she HATES it) but we sit near the edge of the balcony and never let her leave our sight. We are only 3 floors up and she can fit through the bars.
Post # 5
I don’t trust our cat alone on our balcony- she’s too clumsy and curious. She only goes out wearing a leash.
I know other cats who are fine though- my friend just plops her cat in a chair and hell sit there contentedly. It all depends on the cat!
Post # 6
When I was growing up we lived on the 3rd floor and our cats LOVED going outside on the balcony. It never was too much of an issue except for one time when one of the cats must have leaped off or fallen but she came right back.
Right now I have a fat, fluffy cat that doesn’t even like to leap on the couch! He is a cuddle bug and he likes looking outside. I have even taken him outside (no porch) and he does is fine. So you could always get a fat cat that wouldn’t be able to fit through the bars or leap that well! HAHA!
However, with any animal that you get you’re going to have to watch it and make sure it feels comfortable outside and that you feel comfortable letting them outside. It all depends on the animal!
Post # 7
We have one cat who has already hurled himself out a second story window. No way he could go out on a balcony unless he couldn’t fit through the railings!
Post # 8
Ohhh no please don’t do that. When we got our kitty, the rescue strongly warned us against letting him on the balcony. They even required is to put screens on the Windows so he can’t fall out easily.
They said kitties suffer bad injuries when they fall from higher than two stories Or so. And it happens more with cats than dogs since they like to perch up on railings, fall asleep in odd places, etc.
Post # 9
Cats often like to walk on railings, both of mine do. One cat has slipped twice and fallen 2 stories. The other fell off after launching herself at a bird. Fortunately they landed in bushes rather than concrete. We’ve ended up putting sheer bird mesh around the whole balcony. It doesn’t affect the breeze or view but it’s a safety net when they fall.
Post # 10
I had a friend post on FB just Sunday that they came home and couldn’t find their cat… they had left the door open to the balcony for him and he fell 6 stories. He had to be put down.
I wouldn’t leave him/her unattended on a baclony!
Post # 11
Our cats love to go outside on our little porch/balcony (second story), and I’ve never seen one of them try to jump off or anything, but I would think it would really depend on the cat. That being said, even with ours we don’t let them out there alone, because there are hawks and owls around that might attack them.
Maybe you could add a screen door? We’ve got one on our balcony door with a little hook lock up high, so we can get the air and outside sounds with no chance of the cats wandering unsupervised. They can still see outside, too, and often sit in front of the door watching.
Post # 12
Don’t let cats on your balcony. When I was a kid my cat jumped onto the railing. It was wet because it had been raining, and he slipped right off and fell five floors. He was absolutely fine and had not even a bump. But it could have been 100 times worse. Going downstairs to get him and not knowing what we would find was horrific. Poor kitty.
Post # 13
I have a 14 year old Russian Blue. She loves to lay out on the balcony and watch the cars and peoples, birds, etc. When we first moved in I left her unattended and came back to find she wiggled through the railing and climbed onto the roof! I ended up lining my balcony with chicken wire, and problem was solved. I leave her out there all the time now. I think it depends on the cat for sure.
Post # 14
PP’s chicken wire suggestion is a great one! Cats are curious and fearless, so I wouldn’t be comfortable letting mine out on a 2nd floor balcony without some type of barrier. When my oldest cat was about 3, she fell out of a 3rd story window that had no screen. Luckily, DH was in the room and she held on to the window ledge long enough for him to grab her.
Post # 15
Thank you all for your responses!! Our balcony is half covered and half open and with our condo association, we aren’t allowed to add screening. For the safety of curious cats, sounds like we’ll have to wait until we get a house to add a cat to the family!